Seeking the Prophet (s)
When we think of poetry that is written for the glorification of God or in remembrance of the Prophet Muhammad(s) we might be inclined to reflect on the works of Mir Dard, Iqbal, Maulana Jalal ud Din Rumi or Ibn Arabi. But I was recently moved by a poem recited by Sukina Abdul Noor, one half of the spoken word duo called Poetic Pilgrimage, entitled 'Seeking the Prophet'.

It was a heart rending recitation that highlighted an individual search in modern times for a man who continues to influence millions of lives today.

Sukina searches for Muhammad in the hearts of believers asking each one she meets if they have seen him, knowing that if they have, she would recognise that truth in their hearts, in their manners and in their actualisation of his example. The reading was made even more touching by Sukina's quivering voice and her pausing to collect herself as she, like us, the audience, became overwhelmed by her words. One can not underestimate the impression the Messenger and Prophet of God has left upon mankind. Likewise one cannot underestimate the power such words convey through time.

Asalaamu alaikum
Excuse me
I wonder if you can help me
My name is Sukaina Abdul Noor and
I am a pilgrim and
I travelled here from Abyssinia with a caraven
I'm searching for a man

I walked over mountaind and valleys
past rivers andn streams
I walked barefooted from pagan lands
On the backs of camels I rode through desert sands
To catch a glimpse of this Illuminous Man

They say: Allah is the light of the heavens and earth and this man is His lamp
Shinning the light of mercy throughout this land
I heard once water flowed free from his hands
So tell me please, where can I find this man?

I want to pledge my allegiance with my right hand
Live my life according to His command
I'm not sure if any of you understand...
I'm looking for the Prophet Muhammad(s)
Have you seen him?

I had only the moon's light to guide me
I saw signs manifesting at night while stars were shinning
Listened to the wind whispering
to pray when I heard birds singing

See, I'm a pilgrim
I decided to make this journey one night when I was sleeping

I was dreaming
And a man appeared
His body was pure light and he was gelaming
He had a beard and was dressed in green
and he had a turban and he asked if I had heard of him

Each of his words was a gem and
He asked me to come follow him
Forget material wealth and belongings
I didn't know how much my soul was longing
He said: come to the blessed city of Medina
and I asked from him
So now I'm asking: How can I find Prophet Muhammad(s).

Everyone I asked on my journey had heard of him
When I mentioned his name every bird started chirping
I saw children's eyes widen
Grown men start crying
Tears flowing into rivers
Each tear representing the love they have inside him
And that's why I'm trying to find him

I heard throughout the land that
he and his companions can be heard
reciting words of light and magnificent imagery
Fitting into the highest literary category
I heard even his enemies were astounded
by their sheer beauty
and took the shahada forgetting war and booty

I met this woman who had the opportunity to meet him
He placed his hands on her withered goats and said 'Bismillah'
Their milk started overflowing
feeding her first then his companions
so I'll give you her description of him so then you'll know him...
She said: his face was luminous like a full moon

His expression was serene
When he is quiet, there is a strange dignity about him
When he speaks, his words are like sparkling pearls
His friends obey his every wish
And listen to his every word...
Sallallahu alaihi wa allehi wa salam

I even heard that when he touched a child
His perfume would be smelt on them for days
A tree even wept when he went away
I heard a young boy cried when his sparrow died
So the prophet(s) stayed and played with the boy
Until his grief went away

All I want from you today
Is to show me the right way
So I can find a mosque to pray
So I can catch a glimpse of this man
You must know his name
It's Muhammad(s)
Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam

Brothers and sisters
Ladies and gentlemen
Thank you for listening
But it seems that I just missed him
Alas the Beloved
Prophet of Allah returned to Allah's Kingdom
That means on this earth I'll never get a chance to see him
Allah knows best perhaps I wasn't meant to greet him
I travelled seven and half years to get here
but I will endeavour to learn from his teachings

They say if I look into the eyes of his ummah
I should be able to see him
So I am seeking people whose faces ignite
every time they speak of him
Do you know where I can find people
who care for travelling pilgrims
I've come so far and I'm not leaving
In fact
I'm staying right here in Medina
To learn the ways of the Rasulullah
And understand the tenets of Allah

I want to spend sterling nights praying
I want to walk the ground that he walked and
pray in the mosque where he talked
From this day
I vow to live my life in his way
Writing down what I learn
And any obstacle I face, pray
I am trying to learn the Prophet Muhammad's ways
Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam
So I can pass them down to future pilgrims...

Originally published in islam today magazine UK, Vol. 1 No. 2 | December 2012. It has been republished here with permission.